The Revealing of Mary Rose


The raging debate about what King Henry VIII's flagship the Mary Rose looked like may have been put to an end, thanks to an artist.

Geoff Hunt claims to have the 'last word' on the argument after he spent weeks painstakingly researching the ship's features.

He met academics, reviewed new evidence and examined salvaged remains to create the most accurate image yet of the Tudor warship.

'It's been a bone of contention what she looked like for quite a long time because the chunk of the ship that survives is only 40 per cent – the lower part of the hull and a bit of the side,' he said.

'All the rest of it – the masts, the spars, the sails, the flags, the colour scheme – we don't have.'

Contemporary drawings showing it had double-decked 'castles' built at the stern and bows are now thought to be correct – meaning the ship rose 12m (40ft) above the waterline, he said.

The painting was commissioned for the 500th anniversary of the king's accession to the throne on 21 April, 1509 and will be unveiled next month at an exhibition.

'This is the last world on the ship before they start diving for more remains and that may never happen,' added Mr Hunt, from Wimbledon, south London.

Researchers believe the 38m-long (126ft) ship was crammed with 700 men when it capsized in the Solent in July 1545 while fighting the French.

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